This is my first external post to this blog, the first of many to engage you in discussion regarding the design of the IBM Lotus Sametime instant messaging client. Following the success of other design blogs, such as Mary Beth Raven's Notes User Experience blog (http://www-03.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/marybeth), I look forward to your input.
Let's get things started with a question about Sametime extensibility. I'd like to learn how you are extending Sametime. Feel free to respond to this blog, or send e-mail privately to (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- what types of plug-ins are you building?
- how well is the Sametime interface supporting the plug-ins you are building?
- how many plug-ins are you or your users adding to a Sametime client and running at once?
Let's start with these questions and I'll post some follow-up questions later in the week. I'm currently looking at how we should continue to evolve our extensibility model and interfaces.
Download a free 90-day trial version of IBM® Lotus® Sametime® 7.5.1. This version extends IBM's award-winning and market-leading instant messaging and Web conferencing solution by introducing new capabilities that include point-to-point video, integration with desktop productivity applications, a tabbed chat interface, client support for Macintosh users, and server support for the Linux® operating system.
Lotus Sametime V7.5.1 is a platform for unified communications and collaboration, combining security features with an extensible, open solution that includes integrated Voice over IP, geographic location awareness, mobile clients, and a robust Business Partner community offering telephony and video integration.
Here are some of the exciting new features you'll find in 7.5.1 over 7.5:
Tabbed Chat - the number 1 request from 7.5. We are providing both horizontal and vertical layout options for a tabs for all of your active chats in a single chat window. If you choose the vertical layout and make the width of the tab column narrow, you can see user photos instead of text names on the tabs.
Save Emoticons with a right click over the image in the chat transcript - add them directly to your favorite emoticon palette.
One-on-one Video! - that's right - get yourself a webcam and start video with your Sametime contacts,
Screen capture annotation - this extends my favorite Sametime feature even further! You can now draw annotations on the captured screen before sending it to your chat partner! Grab a piece of the screen using the screen capture tool icon in the message compose toolbar of the chat window, capture the part of the screen you wish to send, and then click and drag to draw red text on the captured image.
Chat history search - search across all of your chat history transcripts to find specific text
Multi-person chat history - now both one and one and multi-party chats can automatically be saved in the chat history, and searched as well
Spell check entire message at once - not only do typos get highlighted inline, if you want to run a spell check against an entire message at once, like in Notes, you can do it. This is an accessibility improvement based on usability testing as well.
Plug-in scalability - did the novelty of some contact list plug-ins you installed wear off? Now you can easily toggle the contact list mini-app panels on and off using the View Menu>Application Panels> toggles.
Expand All/Collapse All - like views in notes, expand and collapse all groups in your contact list from the View menu, or keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+(+) and Ctrl+ (-)
Primary Contacts - a new contact list plug-in ships with 7.5.1 to let you drag your favorite contacts in and see their photos in the contact list. Choose to see large, medium, or small images, or just a text list.
Edit your language used for spell checking - if your administrator makes the language files available to you, you can copy them into the plugins directory of the Sametime install location on your computer, then open the Sametime Preferences UI from the client and select a new spell check language under the Spell Checking preferences section.
Contact list scrub tool - a tool to help you remove contacts you haven't chatted with in a while to clean up your contact list.
It was great seeing many of you at Lotusphere. As always, your input was excellent, and I look forward to incorporating your feedback in our design work in 2008. If you did not get the chance to attend the conference, you can still provide product input. We'll be doing more usability testing this year, and you can participate in the lab, or remotely via a web conference. If interested, drop us a note at: email@example.com, or sign up here to be a tester for our other products: http://www.notes.net/usability
We're currently wrapping up our first release of Lotus Sametime Advanced, which introduces persistent chat rooms, new topic-based community chat tools that help you to create and reuse knowledge identified during chat sessions, and an "Instant Share" tool for screen sharing and remote control built directly into the Sametime chat window. Look for this new product by the end of Q1.
Since plug-ins can contribute new actions to the context and tools menus, these menus can quickly get very large. Our new products and upcoming releases will add even more actions, and we're looking for space to consolidate in the menus. I realize the "Alert Me When" actions are frequently used, however we could free up two lines in the menu if we condense these three into one pull right menu as shown in the screen below. How do people feel about this? Does the value in the space saved warrant the extra mouse movement into the pull right menu:
Just curious, how many of you use the nested groups feature in the contact list? If so, how many groups have "subgroups" and how many levels of subgroups is the most that one of your top level groups has?
I have some questions for our fans of the Primary Contacts panel: Do you use the panel instead of the main contact list, or as a supplement to it? How would you feel if we integrated primary contacts as one of multiple views of your contacts which you could select, to display in the single contact panel, to save some space for your other plug-in panels? Do you like having primary contacts as a second view that can be seen at the same time as your full contact list?
As we approach the end of 2008, 'tis the season to start looking ahead to Lotusphere. I look forward to the opportunity to meet you in person if you are attending in 2009.
I'll be presenting information on Sametime Advanced features, and I'd like to include information about best practices and real world examples of how Sametime Advanced is helping you to meet your business objectives. If you have any examples of how you are using Sametime Advanced in your organization, or desciptions of new extensions, customizations or deployment configurations you would like to share, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can help our fellow Sametime community members in mindshare at this year's Lotusphere and throughout the new year.
The Lotus Design Team is here at Lotusphere, with a user experience and usability lab, in room Asia 4 of the Dolphin Hotel. Stop by and test drive new product interfaces, and future prototypes, and give us feedback on your experiences with existing products. I'm in the lab, showing new interfaces for a browser-based version of Sametime IM, Sametime Advanced, and an iPhone interface for Sametime IM. I also invite you to attend a deep dive on Sametime Advanced, where I'll be covering UI features, and developer Alan Cooke will be providing architecture and implementation best practices. The deep dive is tomorrow at 4:15, session title ID405, in the Dolphin N. Hemisphere (rooms A-C).
Amy Travis is also in the lab, showcasing 8.5 Sametime eMeetings.
We're also giving away a free registration to Lotusphere 2010 in a raffle - the entry requirements are that you stop by the lab and test drive one of the many Lotus products showcased there by the actual product designers.
Looking forward to meeting you, and reinvigorating this blog in 2009!
Do any of you connect to multiple server communities, and if so, do you enable the community icon in the contact list? We are re-evaluating this design element and want to know more about why you choose to show it. If we were to remove this preference option, and therefore, the display of the icon from the contact list and the business card, would you miss it? Would it prevent you achieving a goal with the contact list?
You may have heard about our latest release of Sametime 8.5, which focuses on numerous improvements to our emeetings capabilities. Now you can take advantage of reservationless meetings, and access meetings easily through a new panel in the Sametime content list. Read more about the meeting improvements here: http://www-01.ibm.com/software/lotus/products/sametime/web-conferencing.html.
While meetings are in the spotlight for this release, there are a few new views in the Contact List that I'll mention. We've heard you ask for an easy way to view your recent contacts, and now you can. From the Primary Contacts panel, use the view menu in the panel title to switch to the new "recent contacts" or "frequent contacts" view. This helps you quickly start chats with those you talk to the most, or find someone new who you might not remember from a chat a few days ago. You can also adjust whether to show the contacts as a list or photo.
What are your thoughts about the Sametime status icons for contacts who are logged into Sametime on a mobile device? Does this effect your decision to start a chat with them? Do you need to know they are on a mobile device?
The Lotus User Experience Team is looking for people who share files in online meetings to participate in a brief study.
seek your input on what is important to you when you share files from
your local system, Lotus Quickr, Lotus Connections, LotusLive, or other
file sharing applications in Sametime Meetings. Your responses will be
used to assist us as we consider how to improve file sharing in online
meetings. Rate the 16 features at http://tinyurl.com/files-in-online-mtgs
Question for users of Sametime Advanced- Are you using the FAQ feature for Chat Rooms and Skill Tap broadcasts? If so, how many FAQs are you seeing for individual chat rooms and broadcast communities? What are the maximum numbers you are seeing, and is it common for the number of FAQs to grow larger than, say 5, for an individual chat room or broadcast community?
The Sametime contact list and chat windows display a status bar at the very bottom. This status bar is an extension that can be written to by third parties. I'm curious to know how you may be using this extension and if you could provide examples of the content that you are writing to this space.
Hi, We're looking for input and your thoughts about opening meeting room windows. If you are using the Sametime web-based meeting room manager to find/search for a meeting room to join, do you want to open the meeting room in a new window, new browser tab (if your browser is set to use tabs) or reload the room in your current browser view when you click the join meeting button?
Hi, Some of you may have seen the Connections business card used in the embedded version of the Sametime livenames in Lotus Notes. The business card appears when you hover over a livename with your mouse cursor. This business card shows the contact's photo as set in Lotus Connections. The Sametime "Primary Contacts" panel allows you to set your own custom photo for a person. What are your thoughts about how this should relate to the business card? Which photo should you see in other places where the livenames and business card appear outside of primary contacts (such as the inbox, or regular Sametime contact list?)
Hello, The Lotus User Experience Research team is gathering information on how you use and manage your contacts, as well as your thoughts on the future of contact management. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey and provide us with input to the future design direction of Contacts.
The Lotus User Experience team is looking for people who collaborate with people outside their company, company, institution, agency, university, etc. If you work with clients, partners, colleagues, or service providers outside your company or institution, we are interested in understanding your goals and the tools you are using to collaborate.
Please take a few minutes to complete a brief survey (https://www.ibm.com/survey/oid/wsb.dll/s/ag2cd). In 5 – 10 minutes, you can provide us with invaluable insights into your goals, the tools you use to collaborate for work, and the importance of various collaboration tools.
If you know others who would be interested in participating in the research in organizations such as sales, marketing, customer relations, or procurement, please forward this invitation to them.
Thanks in advance for your help! Velda Bartek Lotus User Experience Research
For those of you who use Sametime on mobile smartphones, do you find yourselves needing to connect to multiple server communities? If so could you describe how often this occurs, and how many communities you need to connect to?
We've had some requests to better differentiate the server community icons shown in the My Status toolbar, and the contact list (if you choose to turn them on in the contact list preferences). These are used to help users know which contacts belong to different server communities, as well as what your current status is set to for each community.
Do you have any thoughts about the following proposal:
We're hoping to see you this year at Lotusphere! Here is a list of Sametime UX breakout sessions.
ID501: What's New in IBM Lotus Sametime Amy Travis and Rob Ingram Tuesday, Feb 1. 1:30 - 2:30 PM
ID504: IBM Lotus Sametime Mobile: Native Meetings and Messaging Joe Scherpa and Steve Babin Tuesday, Feb 1. 4:45 - 5:45 PM ID507: SUT Today and Tomorrow Tracee Wolf and David Marshak Wednesday, Feb 2. 10:00 -11:00 AM
ID503: Lotus Sametime Meetings: Today, Tomorrow and Beyond Amy Travis and Ron Pontrich Wednesday, Feb 2. 1:30 - 2:30 PM
ID510: Using Voice and Video in IBM Lotus Sametime Jodi Rexford and Tracee Wolf Wednesday, Feb. 2. 3:00 - 4:00 PM
We've had some requests to change the default icons used to represent the different the server communities, so that when new communities are added, we don't show the same icon across the status bar at the top of the client. We are looking into a full refresh of the default community icon set.
Here is one set that we are considering. Do you have any comments on the following? (the preference to show them in the contact list is enabled in this example as well)
Hi, If you are a desktop user in a meeting room, would you want to know if a participant was using a smartphone? If you were mobile, would you want others to know you are mobile? Should there be any difference for smartphones vs. tablets? Thanks, -Joe
Listen to an overview of the Sametime sessions in our Unified Communications and Collaboration podcast. A great podcast to listen to on the plane to help you figure out what sessions to attend at Lotusphere 2011! Our product managers and designers provide a sneak peak at each of the sessions.
We've all been busy preparing our talks, demos, prototypes, mockups, surveys, breakout sessions, and more and we're ready to see you next week in Orlando for Lotusphere 2011. It is going to be great - we are all incredibly excited!
Amy Travis - Sametime Meeting Rooms, and general Sametime integration cross product integration Tracee Wolf - Sametime Telephony Jodi Rajaniemi - Voice and Video in -Sametime Meetings Velda Bartek - Usability and Research Joe Scherpa - Sametime Instant Messaging, Sametime Advanced, Sametime Mobile IM and Meeting Rooms
First ever - Meet the Design team in a Chalk Talk!
We are having a "Chalk Talk" on Tuesday , Feb. 1, and 10:00 AM in the Usability Lab (Asia 4 in the Dolphin Hotel) where you can meet team members and see the current design questions we are tackling.
If you can't make it this year, sign up for user feedback and research activities (in person and remote!): www.ibm.com/software/ucd/lotusur
I'm off to pack my bags after one more dry run of the mobile breakout session...
Take a look at the upcoming Sametime IM apps for Android and iPhone, and the Meeting Room app for Blackberry. We have a few look and feel designs and icon sets to test out and we want to know what you think!
I'm thinking about status settings and how they affect behavior.
you find the "In a meeting" status helpful? Does it change how you
interact with other people, when you see that status by their name? For example, are you less (or more!) likely to IM someone if they have that status?
currently support 4 settings: Available, Away, In a Meeting, and Do Not
Disturb. Do you ever wish we had more settings? If so, what would you
want to have available?
You are on the phone with a co-worker, and while you are on the phone with that coworker, you also open a chat with that same co-worker.
Conversely, you are chatting with a co-worker, and decide to have a phone call, but you still use the chat channel with that co-worker while on the phone with him or her.
If these sound familiar to you, I'd like to hear from you! (And if they don't match how you work, I'd be interested to hear that, too!)
I'm especially curious to know what you are doing in the chat window that you can't do via the phone. Transfer files? Screen captures? Type something that your phone partner is having trouble understanding? Send links? Type something that you don't want to say out loud? :-)
Hi, I'm Lauren, the lead end-user writer for IBM Sametime. Amy and I are going to spend the next few days covering some of the cool new features in the 8.5.2 release.
Today I wanted to tell you about using audio and video in Sametime meetings that open in a web browser.
With Sametime 8.5.2, meeting rooms that open in a web browser now have many of the same audio and video features as do meeting rooms that open in a Sametime window. This means that people who join meetings from outside your company, or people who don't have the Sametime client, can participate in audio/video calls.
If your company has these capabilities, when you are in a meeting room that opens in a web browser, you can use the call icons under the
Voice and Video area of the meeting room to call in to your meeting and then perform
For example, here's what you might see under Voice and Video if you are the room owner or a room manager; click the Green phone icon to start the call.
And, here's what you might see after the call has
started - icons to hang up the call, put the the call on mute and so much more:
Note: The specific
call icons that the meeting room owner sees depends on
the call capabilities you have and whether or not you are the
meeting room owner.
With Sametime 8.5.2, we've introduced a great new security feature, "managed access," that lets people join your meeting rooms only when you or a room manager is there.
You can select this option either when creating a new meeting room or by changing the room settings of an existing meeting room.
This picture shows where this setting appears when you create a new meeting room:
This same feature is available for meetings accessed from a web browser: People who try to join your meeting when you're not there are put in a "waiting room", and they must wait until you're there before they can see any content in the room.
Use this feature whenever you don't want people in your meeting room when you're not there!
As a follow-up to the earlier entry on status settings, we would like your feedback on how you use instant message status
information when you contact others in a business environment. This
brief survey should only take a few minutes to complete. Your input is
very important to our process and will be used in combination with other
data to influence additional user experience work.
Sametime 8.5.2 now supports "widgets" and recognized names and numbers. If you have this capability, this means you can hover your mouse over an underlined name or number in chat history or an open chat window - or even in IBM Notes, such as in a Notes calendar invitation - to perform additional actions on that name or number. For example, you can click an underlined telephone number or name to select an option to start a call.
Some great new features are in place for chat history in Sametime 8.5.2:
View all chats in the order they've been received
Files and links are pulled into their own tab, for easy tracking
When searching in chat history, restrict your search to entries from a single person
Here are some pictures to illustrate these features: In addition, system administrators can turn off presence in the chat history window, with this preference (set in plugin_customization.ini or the managed-settings.xml):
With Sametime 8.5.2, we've made it easy for everyone to see who is the active speaker during a call with multiple people. In the picture below, the orange frame around Amadou Alain's picture shows that currently he is the active speaker on this call:
If multiple people are talking, each speaker's image will be framed.
With Sametime 8.5.2, there are some new features that will help meeting room owners and managers manage their meetings.
First, we've added a new End Meeting button in the global toolbar so that meeting room owners
or managers can simply click the button to close the meeting room. This
action ends the meeting for all participants, so they no longer are in the room, and no longer see any room content. The room owner (or manager, depending on who presses the button) stays in the room, so they can be ready for their next meeting.
Here's what this new button looks like in the toolbar:
We've also added a feature that allows meeting room owners and managers to remove a participant from a meeting. From
within a meeting room, a room owner or manager simply right-clicks a
participant's name to remove that person from the meeting:
Users who are removed will see a notification that they've been removed, and they will no longer see the content of the meeting room.
When someone is removed from a room, there may be a "lockout" time, during which that person will not be able to re-enter the room. System administrators set this timeout period on a per-server level, using this configuration setting:
With Sametime 8.5.2, meeting rooms that open in a browser window have significant enhancements, so you can do almost everything you can do when using a meeting room that opens in a Sametime window. These enhancements include:
Audio/video and telephony capabilities - Depending on the call capabilities available to you, in a meeting room, click the and select to join the audio call using
your computer, telephone, or video device (if video is available). When setting up your own meeting rooms, you can also choose to use audio/video and telephony for your meetings. See this blog posting for information about the new support for audio and video features in meeting rooms that open in a browser window.
The ability to create and send polls - In the meeting room Library, click the Create a Poll icon to create a new poll, or click Send Poll on an existing poll to send it to meeting participants. After the poll closes, the results are posted to the Discussion area of the meeting room.
Highlighter and pointer tools when sharing slides - In a meeting room, click Tools to select a color to highlight slides you are presenting.
Jump-to slide navigation - When sharing a document, type in a number to jump directly to that page:
Wait until you see the new IBM Sametime Unified Telephony (SUT) Lite Client software. SUT Lite Client is a licensing option that is available with Sametime 8.5.2. For example, with SUT Lite Client you can:
and receive telephone and video calls, even with someone who is
your Sametime contact list, right-click the name of a person you
want to call – even someone who is not online -- and select Call.
can also click a contact and then click the Call icon or in the
toolbar at the top of your contact list.
one-on-one or conference video calls
the Find a person or number field at the top of the Sametime
contact list, type the entire telephone number or the SIP URI of the
video conferencing device you want to call. Select the number when it
displays. In the open call window, click Video > Start Video.
Now, with Sametime Unified Telephony 8.5.2, you can easily set up a rule to route all your calls to your mobile device, for example, if you're out of the office, but don't want to miss any calls.
File > Preferences > Voice and Video > Routing Calls.
For When my IM status is, select “Any mobile status” and
then enter your mobile telephone number for your preferred number.
When you log on to Sametime from your mobile telephone, all calls
will go to the device you specify in the rule.
We've got some very exciting news on the mobile front! Sametime 8.5.2 is now available on the Google Android mobile device! That means you can now have many of the features that you've come to know and expect from Sametime on your desktop or laptop computer on your Android. This includes:
Using Sametime awareness and chat features.
Tapping and holding a contact or group
name to display a list of options.
Adding and removing contacts and groups
to and from your contact list.
Reviewing mobile chat histories.
Sending telephone camera photos through Sametime chats.
you have Samtime Unified Telephony on your device, you can place Sametime
calls to contacts or people you find using the Sametime search. You can also change your preferred Sametime device to route calls to
There's more exciting mobile news with Sametime 8.5.2 and our new Sametime meetings client for the RIM Blackberry device!
Now from your Blackbery you can:
find, and participate in Sametime meeting rooms - Select a Web address (URL) to a meeting room, for example, in an email, calendar entry, or chat, to enter the room.
View shared presentation content - Select the menu button and then Zoom In or Zoom Out; use the scroll or tap and drag on touch screens the pan the presentation into view.
See the meeting room participants - In the meeting room, use the menu button and select "Participants" to see a list of participants.
View and participate in "live" meeting discussions - In the meeting room, use the menu button and select "Discussion" to see postings made to the "Discussion" area of the meeting room.
Connect to the audio call and the
meeting at the same time. (Available only with wifi and some carriers.) - To view the meeting room call information, on a selected meeting room in the room list or search result, or from within a meeting room, use the menu button and select "View room Information." Then dial in to the meeting room.
Based on customer feedback, we've added a setting for the web meeting client, to indicate whether meetings open in the current window or in a new window or tab. This capability makes it easier for people to get back to the meeting center if they need to jump from one meeting room to another.
This behavior is controlled at the server level, with this setting:
Using the new Sametime Bandwidth Manager, you can centrally configure and monitor bandwidth for Sametime audio and video calls. With the manager, you place constraints on how bandwidth is used in your network, to ensure that as many users as possible can use audio and video features and that high-priority audio and video usage gets network when needed.
For information about the new Bandwidth Manager, see these documents:
Does your company use more than one community at a time? If so, you'll be very happy to see our updated server community icons, which can help you differentiate which users are in which communities. Based on your feedback, we've designed these icons to have greater contrast with each other, and also rotate through them when you add communities, so that, by default, new communities will have unique icons.
Have you ever been in a web meeting and wanted all the browser "chrome" (i.e., the window title bar, menu bar, status bar) to disappear? Here are some shortcut keys you can use to do just that! Use the same shortcut to go back to the standard view.
On a PC (XP and Windows 7), you can use the F11 key in IE, Firefox, and Chrome.
On a Mac, use these keys:
Safari -- no keyboard shortcuts, but there are plugins you can install that will allow this behavior
Come see some new ideas the IBM Collaboration Solutions Information Development team is working on for videos!
We're considering using some animations in our videos, and we'd like to know what you think. Watch some short sample videos in the Online UX Lab and comment with your thoughts and opinions. Link to the activity: http://tinyurl.com/ibmvideo71211
I love using the Sametime Meetings feature that lets me take minutes during a meeting, because everyone can see what I'm typing, and it's all saved for me when I leave the room. When I flag items as meeting minutes, they are separated out in the meeting report, so I can easily see what was meeting minutes, versus just conversation in the room.
However I notice a lot of my colleagues don't use the feature -- they just type into the chat, without flagging their entries as meeting minutes, so that everything ends up being flagged as a chat entry:
How about you? Do you use this feature? If not, why not?
I love emoticons -- as any of my co-workers will confirm. :-) When I find icons that I like, I add them to an emoticon palette. When I run into a situation that feels like it needs an emoticon (someone going on a vacation to the beach, for example), I find an emoticon that I can use, and add it to the chat.
One preference you can set that makes it super easy to use emoticons is to set a short-cut key for your emoticon. Here's how this works.
1. Add the emoticon to an emoticon palette. You can do this in Preferences - Emoticon Palettes - Add Picture:
2. Now, with the picture added, enter shortcut text that you can use to bring that up. For example, suppose I add this picture to my emoticon palette:
To make it easy to insert this emoticon into my chats, I just specify a shortcut that will cause this emoticon to display. For example, let's say I want this emoticon added whenever I type "/wh". I can specify this in that same Preferences page, as the keyboard text:
Now this emoticon will display in my chat whenever I type "/wh".
SUT really simplifies my work life. Here are some of the things I really love:
1) I can specify conference call numbers in my phonebook, and then have it just connect me automatically if my preferred device is my computer, or show me the passcode I need to dial if my preferred device is a hard phone. I have a lot of conference calls, so this one saves me a ton of work!
2) I can set routing rules so that my calls come in where I am, regardless of how people try to reach me. For example, I like to use my office phone when I'm in the office, but my computer softphone when I'm working at home.
3) If i need to switch devices, I can easily do that. For example, I can transfer a call to my cell or my home phone as need be (e.g., if I'm walking from one meeting room to another).
4) I can easily click someone's name in my contact list and call them when I need to talk, or turn a chat into a call if the conversation gets complicated.
5) I can use the live text widget to click any name or number in a Notes email or chat history to place a call -- no need to reach for a phone.
Have you tried SUT? I'd love to hear your feedback if you have!
In Sametime 8.5 and later releases, you can designate one or more managers of your meeting room. Managers have the same capabilities as room owners -- setting permissions, changing room settings, ending meetings, and so on:
I'm curious to know how many of you out there are using this feature? If so, under what circumstances? Are you finding that you want to share "ownership" of some rooms with other people -- for example, a meeting with a co-chair? Or do you have one person who creates rooms for other people, using the room management feature as a way of passing the room to the person who will actually chair it?
I really like using the photo view in Sametime meetings and photo views in my Contacts list (e.g., the Matrix view of the Primary Contacts list), because I find it easier to find my co-workers by their photos:
How about you? Do you use those views?
Anyone out there work for a company where employee photos aren't used?
When you are in a Sametime meeting, how important is it to see Sametime presence icons for the people in the meeting? For example, we currently don't show those icons in the photo view -- do you wish they were there? If you use third-party extensions that display additional icons, do you want to see those icons in the meeting room participant list? Or would that just clutter the list?
Please post comments -- I'd like to hear from you!
Sametime 8.5.2 introduced an End Meeting button for the room owner:
Right now, when you click that button, it kicks out everyone *but you*. Is this the behavior you expect? It allows you to run back-to-back meetings in the same room... but it does mean you have to take an extra step to leave the room yourself (i.e., close the window).
We had our first Lotusphere User Experience lab prep meeting last week... We're busy working out new ideas for the coming year, figuring out what we need to improve in our lab. Feel free to post a comment here if there are things you'd especially like to see done and/or changed in our lab.
Today is the last day for our fabulous intern, Linda Le, who is heading back to school for a Master's degree in Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon. Linda's been working with the Sametime design team for the past six months, and has been a terrifically hard worker and a great source for creative ideas.
I found out yesterday that a co-worker of mine wasn't aware of some of the nifty things you can do when receiving a file in a Sametime chat. I imagine that might be true for others, as well, so here's a quick note about some mini-features you can use.
1. You can choose another location for the file before you receive it:
2. You can copy the location of the received file and then use the location to open the file in another program (using File - Open):
(Note that this sequence works only on PCs, not Macs.)
3. You set the default location for in the File Transfers preference:
We would like your feedback to help us assess the relative importance of tasks within IBM Sametime products. Your input is very important to our process and will be used in combination with other data to influence additional user experience work.
I'm Lauren and I'm on the Sametime documentation team.
As many of you know, Sametime 8.5.2 supports widgets and recognized names and numbers (live text). We have some Help about these features in the Sametime Standard and Sametime Entry online Help. But, we wanted you to know that we've now posted to the Sametime wiki additional end user, power user, and administrator documentation about widgets and live text. We hope you find it useful!
Are you someone who clicks the "Show details" link in the library, when selecting a file, to find out the information about that file? If you haven't done it, here's how you get this information:
1. In the browser meetings client, select the file, click the drop-down, and click View Details:
2. In the installed meetings client, select the file, click the drop-down, and click View Details.
Or right-click the selected file and choose View Details:
Here's what the file details look like:
This dialog shows you:
1. The actual name of the file (as opposed to the name shown in the library, as you can rename library files)
2. Who added it 3. When they added it 4. How large the file is
5. Where the slides were converted (locally or on the server) *** 6. Number of pages
Is this the information you want? Is there other information you'd like to see?
*** Ever wonder what the "slide conversion" part means? Converted locally means that the native application on your computer was used to render the slides for the meeting -- this will give you the highest fidelity slides. Converted on the server means that an application running on the Sametime server rendered the slides for the meeting. This will almost always give you lower fidelity than converting locally. So how do you control this? In the Sametime installed client, if you have the native application for the file, the file will be converted locally. If you use the Sametime browser client, the file will always be converted on the server.
Meetings users -- did you know that you can easily remove content from your room? Here are some tips:
1. For a quick way to remove all content (discussion and library content) from a room, choose the Remove Room Content command from the Room Tools menu.
2. To remove just the discussion content, click the "x" in the bottom of the discussion widget (only room owners and managers have access to this). If you're on the installed client, you can still get back to the chat content later by creating a meeting report:
3. To remove all content just from the library, in the installed client, right-click anywhere in the library and choose Remove All. You'll be prompted before the content is removed.
For future releases, we're looking at giving you a choice when you end a meeting to also clear out the content. Would you like such a choice? Let me know!
I'm curious how many of you use the Chat Window preference setting "Display when my partner closes the chat window"?
When we first created that preference, the goal was to make it easier to not have never-ending good-bye's in chats, where each person continues to feel obligated to respond:
But we've had that preference for a while now, and I'm wondering, given the prevalence of chat today, if perhaps that setting is no longer needed. I've had some people say they truly don't like it, because they always close windows automatically, and then they're afraid people feel dismissed. But others like to know, so they don't cause the chat window to pop open again when their chat partner is done.
At IBM, we've been using agile development process for some time now, and that process includes designers being part of project scrums. But we've only lately started using agile methods *within* our design groups -- that is, having design-only scrum meetings, and 2-week sprint schedules to address the design work we have across the projects we work on.
As a design lead, I find the scrum process extremely helpful, so I know what all the designers on my team are working on, and can hear what's blocking people. The daily 15-minute meetings take almost no time, and we really hold tight to that meeting time limit.
One of the challenges we face is that design is an inherently iterative process, so we've needed to build iteration into our sprints. Also, new requirements crop up each day, as we learn more details from customers, get Beta feedback, or find that a developer has run into a hitch. So we've had to stay very flexible within our scrum process -- updating sprints as priorities shift.
Overall, though, I think it's been a great win. Much more productive than our older-style weekly "status meetings". I like the fast-pace of 15-minute meetings -- makes me wonder if more of my meetings could be that short!!
The Sametime documentation group has just produced a new video. It shows how to set up your IBM Sametime 8.5.2 client for conference
calls that use your
computer's audio and video. It also shows how to start a conference call
from within a
Sametime meeting room and gives an overview of some of the call controls that might be available to you.
Using your computer's audio and video capabilities for conference calls is a great feature, so we hope
that you find this video helpful.
I asked a few of my colleagues to tell me what their favorite Sametime feature was... here's what they said:
My favorite Sametime feature is the ability to take a quick screenshot and send that to the person I'm chatting with or share it in a meeting room. -- Ben Gold, Sametime Developer
The ability to glance through my open Sametime chats and see the picture of the person I'm chatting with. -- Rob Corell, Business Operations Manager
My favorite feature is to set the Meeting "shelf" in the Connect client to show all the meetings scheduled in my Notes calendar. That way, I can simply click on the entry in the list and very quickly enter the Sametime meeting room that the chair had included in the calendar entry. -- Barry O'Nan, Senior Engineering Manager
Having Sametime automatically change my status when I'm in a meeting because I would always forget to do that myself. -- Dave Cohen, Software Engineer
My favorite Sametime feature is being able to see the context of the person I'm chatting with (e.g. phone Icon when they are on a call). -- Pat O'Sullivan, Senior Architect and Master Inventor
My favorite feature is being able to see who is available, and to get an idea of whether they are currently busy, or if it's okay to bother them. -- Michael Muller, Researcher
Video conferencing with people from other geos, especially those that I have been working with for many years without ever meeting face to face. -- Orit Yaron-Duzy, Sametime Deployment on Messaging and Greenhouse
My favorite Sametime feature is the ability to log all my chats into easily searchable html files. -- John E Newman, IBM Real Time Collaboration Services Support
Being able to see ALL my primary contacts in one visual panel, and know at a glance who is online right now -- Ian McNairn, Program Director, Social Collaboration and Innovation
My favorite Sametime feature is being able to have an Audio/Video
call by just clicking a "green" person. -- Lilach Ofek, Project Manager
My favorite feature is Alerts - Alert me when available. -- Kerry Thompson, Information Developer.
I love how easy it is to start an instant meeting from the chat list - Sara Weber, Development Manager CIOLab Analytics
Being able to send a file right from the chat window. -- Sheri Branco, Usability Specialist
How about you? What's your favorite Sametime feature?
A great tip from a couple of my coworkers -- if you need a quick way to easily paste your call-in information in a chat message, create an image file with the information, and set it up as a custom emoticon with a text shortcut (e.g., ":d" for dial-in). Then just type the text shortcut and your call-in information will go right into the chat.
UPDATE -- An even better approach!
As Gareth Cook pointed out in his comment below, you can do the same with the "Add Text" button -- enter the call-in information into the text field, and then assign it a shortcut key.
When a participant leaves a meeting room, their name drops off the participant list. The same occurs in a persistent chat room. However, when a participant leaves a multi-way chat, their name stays in the participant list, but becomes italicized and grey, which is how it looks before they enter the chat, as well:
What do you think of this? Should the name drop out of the multi-way chat list as it does in meetings and chat rooms? Do you like seeing the names of people who were in the chat, but have since left?
When you are in a meeting, would it ever be helpful to know what type of client (web, installed, or mobile) a user has joined the meeting with? I'd love to hear some examples of when this might be useful.
A colleague of mine in the documentation group told me that many people are not aware that when using the Sametime Meeting room that launches from the installed Sametime client, you can move the components around on the screen.
Did you know about this already? If not, check this out!
1. First click the title bar of the component you want to move, and drag:
2. Next, release your mouse where you want the component to go -- including outside of the Sametime meeting window if you want to open it in a separate window:
3. To put it back, either drag and drop the title bar of the component again, or click Room Tools - Restore Room Layout.